Based upon recorded history, we do not know the name of the first white person who ever looked over the area now known as the City of Norton. We do know the Mound Builders traversed most of this part of Ohio, even before the American Indians. They have left their trademarks in many parts of Northern Ohio in the form of their earthen mounds. An Indian tribe called the Eries are among the earliest Indian tribes recorded as having roamed over much of Northern Ohio. Indian tribes could travel along the shores of Lake Erie much easier than through the dense forests which covered much of the Ohio country. In their travel, the Indians could paddle up the Cuyahoga River south to the ridge of the Great Divide, later known as Portage Path, from which they carried their canoes across the divide to the head of the Tuscarawas River. It was only a few miles from the Cuyahoga to the Tuscarawas River and once on this stream, they could paddle a canoe on down to the Muskingum, then to the Ohio River which followed on to the Mississippi and thence to the Gulf of Mexico. Since the Tuscarawas River starts at the southern edge of Norton, parts of our present Village were probably traversed by many fur traders and explorers.
The great explorer DeSalle, who made a trip from Lake Erie up to the Cuyahoga River, then across the divide to the Tuscarawas and south through the Ohio Country in 1669, could be the first white man who ever saw a part of our territory. DeSalle reported to France about the wonderful lands south of Lake Erie stretching southward to the Ohio River.
Recorded information points out that our present City was founded on some of the finest lands in what was later called the Western Reserve.